Coca Cola’s #OpenUp campaign to promote sharing and caring in the Middle East

Coca Cola has hit upon an interesting initiative for its latest digital campaign, with the aim of promoting openness between families. Released with the hashtag #OpenUp on YouTube, Coca Cola has developed two videos over the past eight days. The first, and for me the most moving, is that of Saudi chef Badr. Badr left behind the family tradition of architecture to study and become a cook, which is a rarity in Saudi society. The video and story are both well conceived and directed.

The second video features a social media star from Kuwait, named Ascia. Ascia recounts the challenges she has had to overcome in society as she has pioneered her ideas through Instagram. She thanks her husband Ahmed for the support he has shown her.

What do you think? Are the concepts powerful enough for you to share your #OpenUp story? Do you find them sincere or too scripted? Let me know your thoughts on the content and on Coca Cola’s work here. I’ll keep you posted on any additional videos that Coca Cola posts for this campaign.

Geant launches a budget brand called… Advert (in Arabic)

I love budget brands. I used to live on them when I was a uni student. There’s nothing better than paying as little as possible for the basics, especially when money is tight and we don’t want to forgo those everyday essentials as well as a treat now and then. I was excited to see Geant in the UAE launching a low-cost series of items. Low-cost brands haven’t been common in the Middle East despite the increasing popularity of hypermarkets in the Gulf.

Geant plumped for the name Elan in English, which could suggest inspiration or style. So far so good (though one could ask if the concept of inspiration fits well with budget tissues, mineral water and ketchup). But then we come to the Arabic. And here’s where we have a concern. Elan has been translated as اعلان which means… advert.

I don’t understand the thinking behind the brand’s naming. Was someone thinking this space would be sold? How did brand manager think this would resonate with Arab shoppers? Would you buy a bottle of mineral water called Advert?

Kudos to Geant for taking the initiative to launch a budget brand, especially when food and household prices are rising. But please think about that naming good people. You can do so much better.

PS for a full list of what Geant sells in its Elan range click on this link.